Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Books of 2013

Much to my surprise, I ended up reading 99 books this year. I’m over halfway done with #100 but it’s just not going to get finished in 2013.

My 2013 challenge was to read North and South, Dead Souls, and at least one non-fiction book.  I did read North and South but not Dead Souls. I actually read 2 nonfiction books: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, and The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. 
My favorites this year are ones that really stuck with me, even months after I read it. In no particular order, the books I liked best this year are:
Binding the Shadows: Jenn Bennett – this one has the distinction of causing the biggest book hangover
Blackout: Mira Grant – the next biggest book hangover, I read then entire series this year and absolutely loved it
Nowhere But Home: Liza Palmer - pulled on the heart strings the most
Magic Rises: Ilona Andrews – another great addition to one of my favorite series ever
North and South: Elizabeth Gaskell – Thornton vs Darcy? It almost depends on which book I just finished
I Am the Messenger: Markus Zusak – my only audio book and I was surprised how much I loved this one and the narrator might have had a hand in that
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal: Mary Roach – she makes anything she writes so much fun
Written in Red: Anne Bishop – another big surprise, I borrowed it from the library and then ended up buying it in hardcover because I just couldn’t wait to read it again
Days of Blood & Starlight: Laini Taylor – this book took the story to a whole new level and I think I have to own this series now
Star Gazing: Linda Gillard – first book I read this year and I just loved it, I’ve re-read parts over and over
Honorable mention goes to:
Cinder and Scarlett: Marissa Meyer – these have become “must own” and I’m highly anticipating Cress next year
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Mary Ann Shaffer – such a feel good story
The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves: Maggie Stiefvater – another “must own” series
Mortal Arts: Anna Lee Huber – so excited to have found another historical mystery series that I love, although I’m not so excited about the wait for book 3
For 2014, I think I’m going to try and read one nonfiction book, one “classic”, and I want to read one of the Shakespeare plays I haven’t read yet.  Along with everything else that I normally like to read, of course.
Most Anticipated books for 2014:
Murder of Crows: Anne Bishop
Banishing the Dark: Jenn Bennett
Night Broken: Patricia Briggs
Cress: Marissa Meyer
A Grave Matter: Anna Lee Huber
Dreams of Gods & Monsters: Laini Taylor


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fate can be very, very cruel

Either I have bad luck or bad habits or maybe a combination of both. I got sick last Friday night and I’m still trying to recover. That makes twice in 5 weeks. This time was bad though. I didn’t leave my house for 3 days and even now I’m still coughing and blowing my nose. I ended up watching 10 hours straight of The Walking Dead on Sunday. I kind of felt like a zombie so I figured why not? Plus, my head hurt too much to read. That much TV was a bit of a mistake. I could not sleep that night. It wasn’t because I was scared but my brain had been over stimulated or something and I couldn’t turn it off. However, I’m hooked on TWD and will be starting season 3 very soon.

Then last night I had just gotten a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep after the coughing stopped when fate stepped in and my smoke detector started chirping because the battery is low. And it was the one in my bedroom with the high ceiling that I have no way to reach. So I gathered my blanket and pillow and shut the bedroom door and tried to sleep on the couch but I could still hear the thing. At least I know I’ll be able to hear it anywhere in the house if it ever really goes off. Anyway, another long night and long day that isn’t over yet.

I guess to look on the bright side, we had treat day at work so I got to eat a piece of Larry’s fudge and my mom made me a popcorn cake so I didn’t have to make anything. The fudge and popcorn cake were delicious. And there’s only a couple hours left in the work day then I’ll get to put my pajamas back on and my sister is going to bring her ladder over so I can change a battery. Hopefully, with a little care, I will be well for Christmas and will be done getting sick for the winter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Decorations

Yesterday I got out my Christmas decorations and dusted off my Christmas CD collection. Last year I didn’t really get into the Christmas feeling and didn’t decorate at all, but this year will be different. I actually have my own tradition of decorating my tree while watching one of the Lord of the Rings movies. Ha ha… I know that has nothing to do with Christmas. I think I started because the movie is long enough and I can take breaks to watch the parts I like but then can decorate during the battles or other parts I don’t care to watch. Anyway, that’s what I did yesterday. My tree isn’t that big, but I do like it and I like the ornaments I’ve collected for it. I think this year I might expand and get a few more ornaments. December is going to be a great month!